By Mark Squibb | Vol 7 No. 15 (Aug. 1, 2019)
Mount Pearl Junior High Pythons made their presence known at the Eastern Elite Championships in Halifax this past week.
The tournament saw 19 teams from all across the Atlantic provinces competing across four divisions. U15 Girls; U15 Boys; U17 Girls; and U17 Boys.
Nathan Marshall, Ethan Tucker, John Randell and Cameron Pennell were all named to the U15 Boys Team NL 1, coached by St. Peter’s Junior High Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director Richard Christopher.
That team, consisting of ten players, went undefeated (8-0) in the tourney, winning six round robin games, defeating the other NL team in the semi-finals and then finally defeating New Brunswick in the final game.
"Our four Pythons, along with the other six players from across Newfoundland and Labrador, really showed the rest of Atlantic Canada how strong male volleyball is in this province,” said Christopher.
“They got along really quickly, and they built team chemistry very quickly.”
He added that it wasn’t just the U15 Boys team that put on an impressive show.
“The Newfoundland teams looked really structured, and the athletes were very high level. It was really good to see.”
Nathan Marshall was named tournament MVP, while John Randell was named to the tournament All Star Team.
Plenty of other Pythons had a successful week.
Liam Gulliver was a key player and starter on the U15 Boys Team NL 2, which finished fourth.
Patrick Beresford, a starting middle on the team, won a bronze medal with the U17 Boys Team NL 2.
“It was really cool to see the Python players take leadership roles on all different teams,” noted Christopher.
Jesenta Lilly, coach of the U17 Girls Team NL 1, finished fourth.
Other Pythons to represent the province at the Atlantic competition were Jazmin Lewis and Karen Greek (U15 Girls Team NL 2), Danielle Laing (U15 Girls Team NL 1), Brian Laing (Pythons Grade 9 Girls Volleyball Coach and head coach of the U17 Girls Team NL 2, and Chad Richards (teacher and head coach of the U17 Boys Team NL 2.)
Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association hosted regional tryouts for the provincial teams in April, with a second tryout in May.
The teams had been training together since about the middle of July, including a week training at the Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
St. Peter’s Junior High currently has seven volleyball teams.